Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of the Connachta

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Niall Noígiallach mac Echdach, Rí na Connachta

Nicknames: "Niall Mor"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ireland
Death: Died in Possibly Roman Britain or Brittany
Place of Burial: Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Eochaid Muigh Meadhoin Mugmedon and Carthan Cais Dubh verch Sachell
Husband of Inne ingen Lugaid and Roigneach Ingen ingen Meadaib
Father of Conall Gulban mac Néill, King Of Tirconal; Fiachu mac Néill, King of Meath; ? McNeill of Colonsay; Eógan . mac Néill; Prince Foghat Owen and 5 others
Brother of Fergus mac Echdach and Fiacha . mac Echdach
Half brother of Ercc mac Echdach, Ri na Dal Riata; King Eoghan of Tir-Eoghain; Prince Cairbre of Ireland; Eochaid Mugnedon; Conall Mor and 4 others

Occupation: 126th HIgh KIng of Ireland, Greatest High King of Ireland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Niall Noígiallach mac Echdach, Rí na Connachta

"Having nine hostages"

See Niall of the Nine Hostages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_of_the_Nine_Hostages)

  • In Irish Kings and High Kings (Dublin, 1973), John Francis Byrne prefers a much earlier date for Niall's death and also suggests the Three Collas never existed.

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Niall Noígíallach (Old Irish "having nine hostages") (pronounced [niːˈəl noɪˈjiːəlax])[1], English: Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaid Mugmedón, was an Irish king, the eponymous ancestor of the Uí Néill kindred who dominated Ireland from the 6th century to the 10th century. The rise of the Uí Néill dynasties and their conquests in Ulster and Leinster are not reliably recorded but have been the subject of considerable study and attempts to reconstruct them.

Although generally supposed to be a historical personage, very little can confidently be said of Niall's life. The sources for the details of Niall's life are genealogies of historical kings, the "Roll of Kings" section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Irish annals such as the Annals of the Four Masters, chronicles such as Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and legendary tales like "The Adventure of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon" and "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages". These sources date from long after Niall's time and their value as history is limited at best.

Niall is placed in the traditional list of High Kings of Ireland. His reign dated to the late 4th and early 5th centuries. The Annals of the Four Masters dates his accession to 378 and death to 405.[2] The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn broadly agrees, dating his reign from 368-395, and associating his raiding activities in Britain with the kidnapping of Saint Patrick (ca. 390-460).[3] However, the traditional roll of kings and its chronology is now recognised as artificial. The High Kingship did not become a reality until the 9th century, and Niall's legendary status has been inflated in line with the political importance of the dynasty he founded. Based on Uí Néill genealogies and the dates given for his supposed sons and grandsons, modern historians believe he is likely to have lived some 50 years later than the traditional dates, dying circa 450.[4]

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A DNA test can show if a man is related to Niall:

A recent study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, found that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that the 5th-century warlord known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages" may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries.

In the study scientists found an area in northwest Ireland where they claim 21.5% carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint, says Brian McVoy, one of the team at Trinity. The same area of Ireland has previously been the subject of anthropological study…and has shown a strikingly high percentage of men from Haplogroup R1b (98%) versus 90% in southeast Ireland. According to McVoy this area was the main powerbase of the Ui Neill kings, which literally translated means "descendants of Niall".

McVoy says the Y chromosome appeared to trace back to one person. Following the genealogists' trail McVoy comments: "There are certain surnames that seem to have come from Ui Neill. We studied if there was any association between those surnames and the genetic profile. It is his (Niall's) family."

Several testing companies can do this test:

Of note to Family Tree DNA customers, this signature is found in .6 of one percent of the entire family Tree DNA database. More info:

https://www.familytreedna.com/landing/matching-niall.aspx

While the signature is typical for R1b European males in general, it is characterized by 11,13 at DYS 385a/b and 14 at DYS 392. Within our second panel of markers the most distinctive difference from the R1b Modal is the 15,16,16,17 at DYS 464.

McEvoy states: "As in other polygynous societies, the siring of offspring was related to power and prestige." The study mentions that just one of the O'Neill dynasty chieftains who died in 1423 had 18 sons with nearly a dozen women and claimed 59 grandsons.

Niall of the Nine Hostages received his name from the taking of hostages as a strategy for playing mental havoc upon his opponent chieftains. He is known in folklore as a raider of the British and French coasts. Supposedly slain in the English Channel or in Scotland, his descendants were the most powerful rulers of Ireland until the 11th century.

Modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include (O')Neill, (O')Gallagher, (O')Boyle, (O')Doherty, O'Donnell, Connor, Cannon, Bradley, O'Reilly, Flynn, (Mc)Kee, Campbell, Devlin, Donnelly, Egan, Gormley, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, McLoughlin, McManus, McMenamin, Molloy, O'Kane, O'Rourke and Quinn.

Journal reference: American Journal of Human Genetics (February issue)

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2007/12/28/famous-dna-review-part-iii-niall-of-the-nine-hostages/

Article in The Times: "High King Niall: the most fertile man in Ireland"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article788652.ece

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Niall Noígíallach (Old Irish "having nine hostages") (pronounced [niːˈəl noɪˈjiːəlax])[1], or in English, Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaid Mugmedón, was an Irish king, the eponymous ancestor of the Uí Néill kindred who dominated Ireland from the 6th century to the 10th century. The rise of the Uí Néill dynasties and their conquests in Ulster and Leinster are not reliably recorded but have been the subject of considerable study and attempts to reconstruct them.

Although generally supposed to be a historical personage, very little can confidently be said of Niall's life. The sources for the details of Niall's life are genealogies of historical kings, the "Roll of Kings" section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Irish annals such as the Annals of the Four Masters, chronicles such as Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and legendary tales like "The Adventure of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon" and "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages". These sources date from long after Niall's time and their value as history is limited at best.

Niall is placed in the traditional list of High Kings of Ireland. His reign dated to the late 4th and early 5th centuries. The Annals of the Four Masters dates his accession to 378 and death to 405.[2] The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn broadly agrees, dating his reign from 368-395, and associating his raiding activities in Britain with the kidnapping of Saint Patrick (ca. 390-461).[3] However, the traditional roll of kings and its chronology is now recognised as artificial. The High Kingship did not become a reality until the 9th century, and Niall's legendary status has been inflated in line with the political importance of the dynasty he founded. Based on Uí Néill genealogies and the dates given for his supposed sons and grandsons, modern historians believe he is likely to have lived some 50 years later than the traditional dates, dying circa 450.[4]

Legendary biography

Early life

A legendary account of Niall's birth and early life is given in the 11th century saga Echtra mac nEchach Muimedóin ("The adventure of the sons of Eochaid Mugmedón"). In it, Eochaid Mugmedón, the High King of Ireland, has five sons, four, Brión, Ailill, Fiachrae and Fergus, by his first wife Mongfind, sister of the king of Munster, Crimthann mac Fidaig, and a fifth, Niall, by his second wife Cairenn Chasdub, daughter of Sachell Balb, king of the Saxons. While Cairenn is pregnant with Niall, the jealous Mongfind forces her to do heavy work, hoping to make her miscarry. She gives birth as she is drawing water, but out of fear of Mongfind, she leaves the child on the ground, exposed to the birds. The baby is rescued and brought up by a poet called Torna. When Niall grows up he returns to Tara and rescues his mother from her labour.[5]

Although it is anachronistic for Niall's mother to have been a Saxon, O'Rahilly argues that the name Cairenn is derived from the Latin name Carina, and that it is plausible that she might have been a Romano-Briton.[6] Indeed, Keating describes her not as a Saxon but as the "daughter of the king of Britain".[3] Mongfind appears to have been a supernatural personage: the saga "The Death of Crimthann mac Fidaig" says the festival of Samhain was commonly called the "Festival of Mongfind", and prayers were offered to her on Samhain eve.[7]

Accession

Seeing Niall's popularity among the nobles, Mongfind demands that Eochaid name a successor, hoping it will be one of her sons. Eochaid gives the task to a druid, Sithchenn, who devises a contest between the brothers, shutting them in a burning forge, telling them to save what they can, and judging them based on which objects they choose to save. Niall, who emerges carrying an anvil, is deemed greater than Brión, with a sledgehammer, Fiachrae with bellows and a pail of beer, Ailill with a chest of weapons, and Fergus with a bundle of wood. Mongfind refuses to accept the decision.

Sithchenn takes the brothers to the smith, who makes them weapons, and sends them out hunting. Each brother in turn goes looking for water, and finds a well guarded by a hideous hag who demands a kiss in return for water. Fergus and Ailill refuse and return empty-handed. Fiachrae gives her a quick peck, but not enough to satisfy her. Only Niall kisses her properly, and she is revealed as a beautiful maiden, the Sovereignty of Ireland. She grants Niall not only water but the kingship for many generations - twenty-six of his descendants will be High Kings of Ireland. Fiachrae is granted a minor royal line - two of his descendants, Nath Í and Ailill Molt, will be High Kings.[5]

This "loathly lady" motif appears in myth and folklore throughout the world. Variations of this story are told of the earlier Irish High King Lugaid Laigde, in Arthurian legend – one of the most famous versions appears in both Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale and the related Gawain romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell – and in John Gower's Middle English poem Confessio Amantis.[8]

In another story, the succession is not settled when Eochaid dies, and Mongfind's brother Crimthann takes the High Kingship. But while he is away on a tour of his lands in Scotland, Mongfind's sons seize Ireland. Crimthann returns to Ireland intending to give battle. Mongfind, purporting to make peace between her brother and her sons, holds a feast, at which she serves Crimthann a poisoned drink. Crimthann refuses to drink it unless she does too; they both drink, and both die. Niall succeeds to the High Kingship, and Brión becomes his second in command.[7] Another version has Mongfind try to poison Niall, but she takes the poison herself by mistake.[9]

While Niall is High King, his brothers establish themselves as local kings. Brión rules the province of Connacht, but Fiachrae makes war against him. Brión defeats Fiachrae and hands him over as a prisoner to Niall, but Fiachrae's son Nath Í continues the war and eventually kills Brión. Niall releases Fiachrae, who becomes king of Connacht and Niall's right hand man. Fiachrae and Ailill then make war against Crimthann's son Eochaid, king of Munster. They defeat him and win great spoil, but Fiachrae is wounded in the battle and dies of his wounds shortly afterwards. The Munstermen renew the battle, capture Ailill and cut him to pieces, and war continues between Munster and Connacht for many years.[7]

Death

The Lebor Gabála Érenn says there was war between Niall and Énnae Cennsalach, king of Leinster, over the bórama or cow-tribute first imposed on Leinster by Tuathal Techtmar.[10] Énna's son Eochaid is named as Niall's killer in all sources, although the circumstances vary. All sources agree he died outside Ireland. The earliest version of the Lebor Gabála says Eochaid killed him on the English Channel, later versions adding that Niall was invading Brittany when this happened. Keating, quoting a Latin Life of Saint Patrick, says that Niall led Irish raids on Roman Britain, and in one of those raids Patrick and his sisters were abducted. Keating associates these raids with those mentioned by Gildas and Bede, and deduces that, since some Irish sources say Patrick was abducted from Brittany, that Niall's raids must have extended to continental Europe as well.[3]

In the saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages", Eochaid's enmity with Niall begins when he is refused hospitality by Niall's poet, Laidcenn mac Bairchid. He makes war and destroys the poet's stronghold, killing his son Leat[11] (Keating has it that Laidchenn was a druid, and that Eochaid killed his son after he used defamatory language towards him).[3] Laidchenn responds by satirising Leinster so that no corn, grass or leaves grow there for a year. Then Niall makes war against Leinster, and peace is concluded on the condition that Eochaid is handed over. Niall chains Eochaid to a standing stone, and sends nine warriors to execute him, but Eochaid breaks his chain and kills all nine of them with it. He then kills Laidchenn by throwing a stone which lodges in his forehead. Niall exiles him to Scotland. The story then becomes confused. Niall makes war in Europe as far as the Alps, and the Romans send an ambassador to parlay with him. Abruptly, the tale then has Niall appearing before an assembly of Pictish bards in Scotland, where he is killed by an arrow shot by Eochaid from the other side of the valley. Keating has Eochaid shoot Niall from the opposite bank of the river Loire during his European campaign. His men carry his body home, fighting seven battles on the way, and his foster-father Torna dies of grief. His body is said to have been buried at Ochann, now known as Faughan Hill in County Meath.[9] He is succeeded by his nephew Nath Í.

Byrne suggests that Niall's death took place during a raid on Roman Britain. Irish tradition had forgotten that the Romans once ruled Britain, and relocated his remembered confrontations with the Empire to continental Europe, with Alba, the ancient name for Britain, being confused with Elpa, the Alps, or being understood with its later meaning of Scotland.[4] A poem by the 11th century poet Cináed Ua Hartacáin in the Book of Leinster credits Niall with seven raids on Britain, on the last of which he was killed by Eochaid "above the surf of the Ictian Sea";[4][12] a poem attributed to the same poet in Lebor na hUidre credits him with going to the Alps seven times.[6]

Family and descendants

Keating credits Niall with two wives: Inne, daughter of Lugaid, who bore him one son, Fiachu; and Rignach, who bore him seven sons, Lóegaire, Éndae, Maine, Eógan, Conall Gulban, Conall Cremthainne and Coirpre.[3] These sons are the eponymous ancestors of the various Uí Néill dynasties: Eógan of the Cenél nEógain and Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, making up the northern Uí Néill; Fiachu of the Cenél Fiachach dynasty, Lóegaire (the king who Saint Patrick is said to have converted) of the Cenél Lóegaire, Maine of the Uí Maine, Eógan of the Cenél nEógain, Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, Conall Cremthainne of the Clann Cholmáin and the Síl nÁedo Sláine, and Coirpre of the Cenél Coirpri, making up the southern Uí Néill.[4] Famous descendants include Niall's great-great grandson Saint Columba, Saint Máel Ruba, the Kings of Ailech, the Kings of Tir Eogain, and the Kings of Tír Conaill.[13]

In January 2006, geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin suggested that Niall may have been the most fecund male in Irish history. The findings of the study showed that within the north-west of Ireland as many as 21% of men (8% in the general male population) were concluded to have a common male-line ancestor who lived roughly 1,700 years ago. The geneticists estimated that there are about 2-3 million males alive today who descend in the male-line from Niall.[14]

Origin of his epithet

There are various versions of how Niall gained his epithet Noígíallach. The saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages" says that he received five hostages from the five provinces of Ireland (Ulster, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Meath), and one each from Scotland, the Saxons, the Britons and the Franks.[11] Keating says that he received five from the five provinces of Ireland, and four from Scotland.[3] O'Rahilly suggests that the nine hostages were from the kingdom of the Airgialla (literally "hostage-givers"), a satellite state founded by the Ui Néill's conquests in Ulster, noting that the early Irish legal text Lebor na gCeart ("The Book of Rights") says that the only duty of the Airgialla to the King of Ireland was to give him nine hostages.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_of_the_Nine_Hostages

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Naill of the Nine Hostages (c. 357-405 AD, King of all Ireland 379-405) was one of the greatest Irish kings. His people were Celts who had escaped domination by the Romans by fleeing north and west. Sometime after 379 (when he became king of Ulster), he forced the other kings of Ireland to accept him as overlord when his sons Eoghan and Conal (possibly others as well) overthrew the Ulidian kingdom in the north. He died in a raid on Roman France in 405 AD.

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Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', High King of Ireland (1)

M, #114018, d. 452

Last Edited=20 May 2008

    Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', High King of Ireland was the son of Eochaid Mugmedón (?). (1) He died in 452. (1)
    Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', High King of Ireland gained the title of King Niall of Tara.1 He gained the title of High King Niall of Ireland in 445.1

Children of Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', High King of Ireland

-1. Lóegaire, High King of Ireland+ d. 463 (1)

-2. Eógan (?)+ (1)

-3. Coirpre (?)+ (1)

-4. Conall Cremthainne (?)+ (1)

-5. Conall Gulban (?)+ (1)

-6. Éndae (?) (2)

-7. Maine (?) (2)

-8. Fiachu (?) (2)

Forrás / Source:

http://www.thepeerage.com/p11402.htm#i114018

-----------------------------------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_of_the_Nine_Hostages

Niall of the Nine Hostages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legendary biography

[edit] Early life

A legendary account of Niall's birth and early life is given in the 11th century saga Echtra mac nEchach Muimedóin ("The adventure of the sons of Eochaid Mugmedón"). In it, Eochaid Mugmedón, the High King of Ireland, has five sons, four, Brión, Ailill, Fiachrae and Fergus, by his first wife Mongfind, sister of the king of Munster, Crimthann mac Fidaig, and a fifth, Niall, by his second wife Cairenn Chasdub, daughter of Sachell Balb, king of the Saxons. While Cairenn is pregnant with Niall, the jealous Mongfind forces her to do heavy work, hoping to make her miscarry. She gives birth as she is drawing water, but out of fear of Mongfind, she leaves the child on the ground, exposed to the birds. The baby is rescued and brought up by a poet called Torna. When Niall grows up he returns to Tara and rescues his mother from her labour.[5]

Although it is anachronistic for Niall's mother to have been a Saxon, O'Rahilly argues that the name Cairenn is derived from the Latin name Carina, and that it is plausible that she might have been a Romano-Briton.[6] Indeed, Keating describes her not as a Saxon but as the "daughter of the king of Britain".[3] Mongfind appears to have been a supernatural personage: the saga "The Death of Crimthann mac Fidaig" says the festival of Samhain was commonly called the "Festival of Mongfind", and prayers were offered to her on Samhain eve.[7]

...

Family and descendants

Further information: Uí Néill descendants

Keating credits Niall with two wives: Inne, daughter of Lugaid, who bore him one son, Fiachu; and Rignach, who bore him seven sons, Lóegaire, Éndae, Maine, Eógan, Conall Gulban, Conall Cremthainne and Coirpre.

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Niall Of The Nine Hostages -------------------- Info from http://www.genealogy4u.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I17949&tree=western2007

Acceded:445. AFN source shows another son called Foghan OWEN - AFN: 8HRT-NK. I am not sure if his father Eochy Moyvone is the same person as shown im other sources namely Echu Mugmedón, so I have shown both. There is a similarity in both names that it is likely it is the same person.

This person appears in many published genealogies, but the facts I have found so far are vague.The earliest history and dates for Ireland are legendary and speculative. Niall Noígillach "of the Nine Hostages" may have lived in the previous century, and the dates given for St. Patrick depend on identifying him with a "Palladius," who is mentioned by a contemporary chronicler as having been sent by the Pope as the first bishop of the Irish. If Patrick was not this person, he would have lived shortly thereafter.

My original information was obtained from Genealogy information held at University of Hull

Tara

Most of the Milesian kings ruled from Tara.

"Tara is a prehistoric burial site in County Meath, famed as the legendary capital of the high kings of Ireland, and a holy site for thousands of years. Here, according to tradition, elaborate rites were carried out between the future high king of Tara and the goddess of sovereignty. Medb, for example, was said to have participated in a ritual union with nine of the high kings, preventing the rule of any candidates who refused to mate with her. Another test was provided by the Stone of Fál, which screamed when it was touched by the rightful heir. There are claims that Cormac mac Art, a leading figure in the Fionn cycle, established a sumptuous court at Tara and a lavish festival was also regularly celebrated at Samhain, on 1 November.

"In the fifth century, the place was occupied by Niall of the Nine Hostages and it was here that his pagan son, King Laoghaire, was supposed to have been confronted by St. Patrick. After this, Tara's importance appears to have declined."

Irish Pedigrees

Medieval Irish monks supported claims to kingship or property?and gratified the egos?of their noble patrons by plotting their line of descent from Adam and Eve. For an example of a list of royal descendants of the sons of Milesius, King of Spain, see the Milesian Genealogies . To see the names of the first thirty-five descendants from Adam, the invention of those Irish monks, go to Ancient Irish Lineage on the Our Early Family web site. A complete list will be found at Ard Ríthe na hÉireann / High Kings of Ireland A list of the early Kings is in Adam through Kings of Ireland and Scotland To English Lines A list of the High Kings of Ireland after Niall Noígillach of the Nine Hostages will be found in the Periphery of Francia (See also Adam through Kings of Ireland and Scotland To English Lines and Irish Genealogy To trace the descent from Heremon, the son of Mil, go to The Sons of Mil on the Early Family web site.

Descended from Conaire and a daughter of the High King Conn of the

Hundred Battles.

A recent source shows this Angus as the father of Foghan Owen (also named by that source as Eochaid) Whilest many sources sho the decent through Niall "of the 9 Hostages"? Some clarity would be welcome if anyone has done extensive research on this pedigree.

GIVEN_NAMES: Also shown as Angus --------------------

Niall Noígíallach (Irish pronunciation: [ˈniːəl noɪˈɣiːələx], Old Irish "having nine hostages") [1], or in English, Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaid Mugmedón, was an Irish king, theeponymous ancestor of the Uí Néill kindred who dominated Ireland from the 6th century to the 10th century. The rise of the Uí Néill dynasties and their conquests in Ulster and Leinsterare not reliably recorded but have been the subject of considerable study and attempts to reconstruct them.

Although generally supposed to be a historical personage, very little can confidently be said of Niall's life. The sources for the details of Niall's life are genealogies of historical kings, the "Roll of Kings" section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Irish annals such as the Annals of the Four Masters, chronicles such as Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and legendary tales like "The Adventure of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon" and "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages". These sources date from long after Niall's time and their value as history is limited at best.

Niall is placed in the traditional list of High Kings of Ireland. His reign dated to the late 4th and early 5th centuries. The Annals of the Four Masters dates his accession to 378 and death to 405.[2] The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn broadly agrees, dating his reign from 368-395, and associating his raiding activities in Britain with the kidnapping ofSaint Patrick (ca. 390-461).[3 ] However, the traditional roll of kings and its chronology is now recognised as artificial. The High Kingship did not become a reality until the 9th century, and Niall's legendary status has been inflated in line with the political importance of the dynasty he founded. Based on Uí Néill genealogies and the dates given for his supposed sons and grandsons, modern historians believe he is likely to have lived some 50 years later than the traditional dates, dying circa 450.[4]

Contents [hide]

1 Legendary biography

1.1 Early life

1.2 Accession

1.3 Death

1.4 Family and descendants

1.5 Origin of his epithet

2 Family tree

3 References

4 Further reading

5 External links

[edit]L egendary biography[edit ]Early life

A legendary account of Niall's birth and early life is given in the 11th century saga Echtra mac nEchach Muimedóin ("The adventure of the sons of Eochaid Mugmedón"). In it, Eochaid Mugmedón, the High King of Ireland, has five sons, four, Brión, Ailill, Fiachrae and Fergus, by his first wife Mongfind, sister of the king of Munster, Crimthann mac Fidaig, and a fifth, Niall, by his second wife Cairenn Chasdub, daughter of Sachell Balb, king of the Saxons. While Cairenn is pregnant with Niall, the jealous Mongfind forces her to do heavy work, hoping to make her miscarry. She gives birth as she is drawing water, but out of fear of Mongfind, she leaves the child on the ground, exposed to the birds. The baby is rescued and brought up by a poet called Torna. When Niall grows up he returns to Tara and rescues his mother from her labour.[5]

Although it is anachronistic for Niall's mother to have been a Saxon, O'Rahilly argues that the name Cairenn is derived from the Latin name Carina, and that it is plausible that she might have been a Romano-Briton.[6 ] Indeed, Keating describes her not as a Saxon but as the "daughter of the king of Britain".[3 ] Mongfind appears to have been a supernatural personage: the saga "The Death of Crimthann mac Fidaig" says the festival of Samhain was commonly called the "Festival of Mongfind", and prayers were offered to her on Samhain eve.[7]

[edit]Accession

Seeing Niall's popularity among the nobles, Mongfind demands that Eochaid name a successor, hoping it will be one of her sons. Eochaid gives the task to a druid, Sithchenn, who devises a contest between the brothers, shutting them in a burning forge, telling them to save what they can, and judging them based on which objects they choose to save. Niall, who emerges carrying an anvil, is deemed greater than Brión, with a sledgehammer, Fiachrae with bellows and a pail of beer, Ailill with a chest of weapons, and Fergus with a bundle of wood. Mongfind refuses to accept the decision.

Sithchenn takes the brothers to the smith, who makes them weapons, and sends them out hunting. Each brother in turn goes looking for water, and finds a well guarded by a hideous hag who demands a kiss in return for water. Fergus and Ailill refuse and return empty-handed. Fiachrae gives her a quick peck, but not enough to satisfy her. Only Niall kisses her properly, and she is revealed as a beautiful maiden, the Sovereignty of Ireland. She grants Niall not only water but the kingship for many generations - twenty-six of his descendants will be High Kings of Ireland. Fiachrae is granted a minor royal line - two of his descendants, Nath Í and Ailill Molt, will be High Kings.[5]

This "loathly lady" motif appears in myth and folklore throughout the world. Variations of this story are told of the earlier Irish high king Lugaid Loígde, in Arthurian legend — one of the most famous versions appears in both Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale and the related Gawain romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell — and in John Gower's Middle English poem Confessio Amantis.[8 ]

In another story, the succession is not settled when Eochaid dies, and Mongfind's brother Crimthann takes the high kingship. But while he is away on a tour of his lands in Scotland, Mongfind's sons seize Ireland. Crimthann returns to Ireland intending to give battle. Mongfind, purporting to make peace between her brother and her sons, holds a feast, at which she serves Crimthann a poisoned drink. Crimthann refuses to drink it unless she does too; they both drink, and both die. Niall succeeds to the High Kingship, and Brión becomes his second in command.[7 ] Another version has Mongfind try to poison Niall, but she takes the poison herself by mistake.[9 ]

While Niall is high king, his brothers establish themselves as local kings. Brión rules the province of Connacht, but Fiachrae makes war against him. Brión defeats Fiachrae and hands him over as a prisoner to Niall, but Fiachrae's son Nath Í continues the war and eventually kills Brión. Niall releases Fiachrae, who becomes king of Connacht and Niall's right hand man. Fiachrae and Ailill then make war against Crimthann's son Eochaid, king of Munster. They defeat him and win great spoil, but Fiachrae is wounded in the battle and dies of his wounds shortly afterwards. The Munstermen renew the battle, capture Ailill and cut him to pieces, and war continues between Munster and Connacht for many years.[7]

[edit]Death

The Lebor Gabála Érenn says there was war between Niall and Énnae Cennsalach, king of Leinster, over the bórama or cow-tribute first imposed on Leinster by Tuathal Techtmar.[10 ] Énna's son Eochaid is named as Niall's killer in all sources, although the circumstances vary. All sources agree he died outside Ireland. The earliest version of the Lebor Gabála says Eochaid killed him on the English Channel, later versions adding that Niall was invading Brittany when this happened. Keating, quoting a Latin Life of Saint Patrick, says that Niall led Irish raids on Roman Britain, and in one of those raids Patrick and his sisters were abducted. Keating associates these raids with those mentioned by Gildas and Bede, and deduces that, since some Irish sources say Patrick was abducted from Brittany, that Niall's raids must have extended to continental Europe as well.[3]

In the saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages", Eochaid's enmity with Niall begins when he is refused hospitality by Niall's poet, Laidcenn mac Bairchid. He makes war and destroys the poet's stronghold, killing his son Leat[11] (Keating has it that Laidchenn was a druid, and that Eochaid killed his son after he used defamatory language towards him).[3] Laidchenn responds by satirising Leinster so that no corn, grass or leaves grow there for a year. Then Niall makes war against Leinster, and peace is concluded on the condition that Eochaid is handed over. Niall chains Eochaid to a standing stone, and sends nine warriors to execute him, but Eochaid breaks his chain and kills all nine of them with it. He then kills Laidchenn by throwing a stone which lodges in his forehead. Niall exiles him to Scotland. The story then becomes confused. Niall makes war in Europe as far as the Alps, and the Romans send an ambassador to parlay with him. Abruptly, the tale then has Niall appearing before an assembly of Pictish bards in Scotland, where he is killed by an arrow shot by Eochaid from the other side of the valley. Keating has Eochaid shoot Niall from the opposite bank of the river Loire during his European campaign. His men carry his body home, fighting seven battles on the way, and his foster-father Torna dies of grief. His body is said to have been buried at Ochann, now known as Faughan Hill at Jordanstown, a few miles west of Navan in County Meath.[9] He is succeeded by his nephew Nath Í.

Byrne suggests that Niall's death took place during a raid on Roman Britain. Irish tradition had forgotten that the Romans once ruled Britain, and relocated his remembered confrontations with the Empire to continental Europe, with Alba, the ancient name for Britain, being confused with Elpa, the Alps, or being understood with its later meaning of Scotland.[4 ] A poem by the 11th century poet Cináed Ua Hartacáin in the Book of Leinster credits Niall with seven raids on Britain, on the last of which he was killed by Eochaid "above the surf of the Ictian Sea";[4 ][1 2] a poem attributed to the same poet in Lebor na hUidre credits him with going to the Alps seven times.[6]

[edit]Family and descendants

Further information: Uí Néill descendants

Keating credits Niall with two wives: Inne, daughter of Lugaid, who bore him one son, Fiachu; and Rignach, who bore him seven sons, Lóegaire, Éndae, Maine, Eógan, Conall Gulban, Conall Cremthainne andCoirpre. [3] These sons are the eponymous ancestors of the various Uí Néill dynasties: Eógan of the Cenél nEógain and Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, making up the northern Uí Néill; Fiachu of the Cenél Fiachach dynasty, Lóegaire (the king who Saint Patrick is said to have converted) of the Cenél Lóegaire, Maine of the Uí Maine, Eógan of the Cenél nEógain, Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, Conall Cremthainne of the Clann Cholmáin and the Síl nÁedo Sláine, and Coirpre of the Cenél Coirpri, making up the southern Uí Néill.[4 ] Famous descendants include Niall's great-great grandson Saint Columba, Saint Máel Ruba, theKings of Ailech, the Kings of Tir Eogain, and the Kings of Tír Conaill.[13 ]

In January 2006, geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin suggested that Niall may have been the most fecund male in Irish history. The findings of the study showed that within the north-west of Ireland as many as 21% of men (8% in the general male population) were concluded to have a common male-line ancestor who lived roughly 1,700 years ago. The geneticists estimated that there are about 2-3 million males alive today who descend in the male-line from Niall.[14] However, more recently some reservations have been expressed, as the subclade, which is defined by the presence of the marker R-M222, is found in a belt from Northern Ireland across southern Scotland and is not exclusively associated with the Uí Néill. It is now more commonly referred to as the Northwest Irish/Lowland Scots variety.[15 ]

[ed it]Origin of his epithet

There are various versions of how Niall gained his epithet Noígíallach. The saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages" says that he received five hostages from the five provinces of Ireland (Ulster, Connacht,Leinster, Munster and Meath), and one each from Scotland, the Saxons, the Britons and the Franks.[ 11] Keating says that he received five from the five provinces of Ireland, and four from Scotland.[3 ] O'Rahilly suggests that the nine hostages were from the kingdom of the Airgialla (literally "hostage-givers"), a satellite state founded by the Ui Néill's conquests in Ulster, noting that the early Irish legal text Lebor na gCeart("The Book of Rights") says that the only duty of the Airgialla to the King of Ireland was to give him nine hostages.[6 ]

-------------------- of the Nine Hostages

King of Ireland -------------------- King of Ireland Niall Mor (The Great) of the Nine Hostages- [ Traducir esta página ]Pedigree report of King of Ireland Niall Mor (The Great) of the Nine Hostages, born in 0359. The Great had a wife named Roigneach of Britain and a child ...

King Of Ireland & Tara Niall Mor NOIGIALLACH

(Abt 380-Abt 453)


Family Links

Spouses/Children:

Princess Of Britain ROIGHNEACH


King Of Ireland & Tara Niall Mor NOIGIALLACH

Born: Abt 380

Marriage: Princess Of Britain ROIGHNEACH

Died: Abt 453, Tara, Ireland about age 73


  Another name for Niall was Of The Nine HOSTAGES. 

 General Notes: 

126th King of Ireland

NIALL OF THE NINE HOSTAGES

Niall of the Nine Hostages was the greatest king that Ireland knew between the time of Cormac MacArt and the coming of Patrick. His reign was epochal. He not only ruled Ireland greatly and strongly, but carried the name and the fame, and the power and the fear, of Ireland into all neighboring nations. He was, moreover, founder of the longest, most important, and most powerful Irish dynasty. Almost without interruption his descendants were Ard Righs of Ireland for 600 years. Under him the spirit of pagan Ireland upleaped in its last great red flame of military glory, a flame that, in another generation, was to be superseded by a great white flame, far less fierce but far more powerful and the bounds of neighboring nations to the uttermost bounds of Europe. That is the great flame that Patrick was to kindle, and which was to expand and grow, ever mounting higher and spreading farther, year by year, for three hundred years.

Niall was grandson of Muiredeach Tireach. His father, Eochaid Muig Medon, son of Muiredeach, became Ard Rich mid way of the fourth century. By his wife, Carthann, daughter of a British king, Eochaid had the son Niall. By another wife, Mon Fionn, daughter of the King of Munster, Eochaid had four sons, Brian, Fiachar, Ailill, and Fergus. Mong Fionn was a bitter, jealous and ambitious woman, who set her heart upon having her son, Brian, succeed his father as Ard Righ. As Niall was his father's favorite, Mong Fionn did not rest until she had outcast him and his mother, Carthann, and made Carthann her menial, carrying water to the court. The child was rescued by a great poet of that time, Torna, who reared and educated him. When he had reached budding manhood, Torna brought him back to court to take his rightful place - much to his father's joy. Then Niall, showing strength of character, even in his early youth, took his mother from her menial task, and restored her to her place. Of Niall's youth there are many legends, but one in particular show the working of his destiny. One day, the five brothers being in the smith's forge when it took fire, they were commanded to run and save what they could. Their father, who was looking on (and who, say some, designedly caused the fire, to test his sons), observed with interest Neill's distinctiveness of character, his good sense and good judgment. While Brian saved the cariots from the fire, Ailill a shield and a sword, Fiachra the old forge trough, and Fergus only a bundle of firewood, Niall carried out the bellows, the sledges, the anvil, and anvil block - saved the soul of the forge, and saved the smith from ruin. Then his father said: "It is Niall who should succeed me as Ard Righ of Eirinn".

Niall's first expedition was into Alba to subdue the Picts. The little Irish (Scotic) colony in that part of Alba just opposite to Antrim had gradually been growing in numbers, strength, and prestige - until they excited the jealousy and enmity of the Picts, who tried to crush them. Niall fitted out a large fleet and sailed to the assistance of his people. Joined then by the Irish in Alba, he marched against the Picts, overcame them, took hostages from them and had Argyle and Cantire settled upon the Albanach Irish. After obtaining obedience from the Picts, his next foreign raid was into Britain. When Maximus and his Roman legions were, in consequence of the barbarian pressure upon the Continental Roman Empire, withdrawing from Britain, Niall, with his Irish hosts and Pictish allies, treaded upon their hurrying heels. Yet did the Romans claim victory over Niall. For it is said his was the host referred to by the Roman poet, Claudian, when in praising the Roman general, Stilicho, he says Britain was protected by this bold general.

"When Scots came thundering from the Irish shores,

And ocean trembled stuck by hostile oars".

Niall must have made many incursions into Britain and probably several into Gaul. He carried back hostages, many captives, and great booty from these expeditions. Yet how often out of evil cometh good. It was in one of these Gallic expeditions that the lad Succat, destined under his later name of Patrick to be the greatest and noblest figure Ireland ever knew, was taken in a sweep of captives, carried to Ireland and to Antrim, there to herd the swine of the chieftain, Milcho. Many and many a time, in Alba, in Britain, and in Gaul, must Niall have measured his leadership against the best leadership of Rome, and pitted the courage and wild daring of his Scotic hosts against the skill of the Imperial Legions. Yet his fall in a foreign land was to be compassed, not by the strategy or might of the foreign enemy, but by the treachery of one of his own. He fell on the banks of the River Loire, in France, by the hand of Eochaid, the son of Enna Ceannselaigh, King of Leinster, who, from ambush, with an arrow, shot dead the great king.

Niall married Princess Of Britain ROIGHNEACH. (Princess Of Britain ROIGHNEACH was born about 380.)


E Niall of the Nine Hostages

115.

(Niall Noigiallach MacEchach, aka Nial Mor Naoighiallach of the Nine Hostages', conquered nine countries (incl. part of France)

379–405 (445-453) Joyce: 379 Niall Mor (or Niall of the Nine Hostages), Niall Noígiallach, Niall Mor Naoi-Ghiallach, Niall I of the Nine Hostages, Niall Noígillach of the Nine Hostages, Niall Noigiallach mac Echach Mugmedoin (Byrne), Niell, Niall Naei-Ghiallach; 
Son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin #124.

"Niall’s first expedition was into Alba to subdue the Picts. The little Irish (Scotic) colony in that part of Alba just opposite to Antrim had gradually been growing in numbers, strength, and prestige—until they excited the jealousy and enmity of the Picts, who tried to crush them. Niall fitted out a large fleet and sailed to the assistance of his people. Joined then by the Irish in Alba, he marched against the Picts, overcame them, took hostages from them and had Argyle and Cantire settled upon the Albanach Irish. After obtaining obedience from the Picts, his next foreign raid was into Britain. When Maximus and his Roman legions were, in consequence of the barbarian pressure upon the Continental Roman Empire, withdrawing from Britain, Niall, with his Irish hosts and Pictish allies, treaded upon their hurrying heels." A History of the Irish Race.

"One of the greatest high kings was Niall of the Nine Hostages, whose reign began in AD 379. He formed an alliance with the Scots and Picts and sent ships to plunder England, Scotland, Wales, and France. These raids did much to weaken the power of Rome in Britain and France. Niall reigned for twenty-seven years before being killed by the arrow of a rival, Eochaida, the deposed king of Leinster.

"Niall's ships brought many captives back to Ireland. One of them, Patrick, was the sixteen-year old son of a British Roman official. Patrick escaped from Ireland after six years of slavery, became a bishop, and returned to Ireland to convert its people to Christianity." The Royal History of Ireland

Slain by an arrow shot by Eochaidh, son of Enna Ceinnseallach [Eochaid mc Énna Ceinselaig ¶711], on the brink of the River Loire in France. Eochaidh had been banished as the King of Leinster and had plans to be the High King of Ireland. The Annals of the Four Masters place Niall's death at Muir nIcht, i.e. the sea between France and England. The Eochaidh who shot the fatal arrow had been King of Leinster, was banished to Alba by Niall, and accompanied Gabhran, Scots Kings #5, chief of the Dal Riada, when Gabhran took troops to France to support an expedition of Niall.

See: High King Niall: the most fertile man in Ireland by Jan Battles in the Sunday Times of Ireland of January 6, 2006; and If Irish Claim Nobility, Science May Approve by Nicholas Wade in the New York Times of January 18, 2006. The newspaper articles are based on a dissertation: A Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland by Laoise T. Moore and Brian McEvoy, with Eleanor Cape. Katharine Simms, and Daniel G. Bradley, published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, volume 78, number 2, February 2006 (electronically published December 8, 2005


-------------------- Niall Noígíallach (Irish pronunciation: [ˈniːəl noɪˈɣiːələx], Old Irish "having nine hostages")[1], or in English, Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaid Mugmedón, was an Irish king, the eponymous ancestor of the Uí Néill kindred who dominated Ireland from the 6th century to the 10th century. The rise of the Uí Néill dynasties and their conquests in Ulster and Leinster are not reliably recorded but have been the subject of considerable study and attempts to reconstruct them.

Although generally supposed to be a historical personage, very little can confidently be said of Niall's life. The sources for the details of Niall's life are genealogies of historical kings, the "Roll of Kings" section of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Irish annals such as the Annals of the Four Masters, chronicles such as Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and legendary tales like "The Adventure of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon" and "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages". These sources date from long after Niall's time and their value as history is limited at best.

Niall is placed in the traditional list of High Kings of Ireland. His reign dated to the late 4th and early 5th centuries. The Annals of the Four Masters dates his accession to 378 and death to 405.[2] The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn broadly agrees, dating his reign from 368-395, and associating his raiding activities in Britain with the kidnapping of Saint Patrick (ca. 390-461).[3] However, the traditional roll of kings and its chronology is now recognised as artificial. The High Kingship did not become a reality until the 9th century, and Niall's legendary status has been inflated in line with the political importance of the dynasty he founded. Based on Uí Néill genealogies and the dates given for his supposed sons and grandsons, modern historians believe he is likely to have lived some 50 years later than the traditional dates, dying circa 450.[4]

Contents [hide]

1 Legendary biography

1.1 Early life

1.2 Accession

1.3 Death

1.4 Family and descendants

1.5 Origin of his epithet

2 Family tree

3 References

4 Further reading

5 External links

[edit]Legendary biography

[edit]Early life

A legendary account of Niall's birth and early life is given in the 11th century saga Echtra mac nEchach Muimedóin ("The adventure of the sons of Eochaid Mugmedón"). In it, Eochaid Mugmedón, the High King of Ireland, has five sons, four, Brión, Ailill, Fiachrae and Fergus, by his first wife Mongfind, sister of the king of Munster, Crimthann mac Fidaig, and a fifth, Niall, by his second wife Cairenn Chasdub, daughter of Sachell Balb, king of the Saxons. While Cairenn is pregnant with Niall, the jealous Mongfind forces her to do heavy work, hoping to make her miscarry. She gives birth as she is drawing water, but out of fear of Mongfind, she leaves the child on the ground, exposed to the birds. The baby is rescued and brought up by a poet called Torna. When Niall grows up he returns to Tara and rescues his mother from her labour.[5]

Although it is anachronistic for Niall's mother to have been a Saxon, O'Rahilly argues that the name Cairenn is derived from the Latin name Carina, and that it is plausible that she might have been a Romano-Briton.[6] Indeed, Keating describes her not as a Saxon but as the "daughter of the king of Britain".[3] Mongfind appears to have been a supernatural personage: the saga "The Death of Crimthann mac Fidaig" says the festival of Samhain was commonly called the "Festival of Mongfind", and prayers were offered to her on Samhain eve.[7]

[edit]Accession

Seeing Niall's popularity among the nobles, Mongfind demands that Eochaid name a successor, hoping it will be one of her sons. Eochaid gives the task to a druid, Sithchenn, who devises a contest between the brothers, shutting them in a burning forge, telling them to save what they can, and judging them based on which objects they choose to save. Niall, who emerges carrying an anvil, is deemed greater than Brión, with a sledgehammer, Fiachrae with bellows and a pail of beer, Ailill with a chest of weapons, and Fergus with a bundle of wood. Mongfind refuses to accept the decision.

Sithchenn takes the brothers to the smith, who makes them weapons, and sends them out hunting. Each brother in turn goes looking for water, and finds a well guarded by a hideous hag who demands a kiss in return for water. Fergus and Ailill refuse and return empty-handed. Fiachrae gives her a quick peck, but not enough to satisfy her. Only Niall kisses her properly, and she is revealed as a beautiful maiden, the Sovereignty of Ireland. She grants Niall not only water but the kingship for many generations - twenty-six of his descendants will be High Kings of Ireland. Fiachrae is granted a minor royal line - two of his descendants, Nath Í and Ailill Molt, will be High Kings.[5]

This "loathly lady" motif appears in myth and folklore throughout the world. Variations of this story are told of the earlier Irish high king Lugaid Loígde, in Arthurian legend — one of the most famous versions appears in both Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale and the related Gawain romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell — and in John Gower's Middle English poem Confessio Amantis.[8]

In another story, the succession is not settled when Eochaid dies, and Mongfind's brother Crimthann takes the high kingship. But while he is away on a tour of his lands in Scotland, Mongfind's sons seize Ireland. Crimthann returns to Ireland intending to give battle. Mongfind, purporting to make peace between her brother and her sons, holds a feast, at which she serves Crimthann a poisoned drink. Crimthann refuses to drink it unless she does too; they both drink, and both die. Niall succeeds to the High Kingship, and Brión becomes his second in command.[7] Another version has Mongfind try to poison Niall, but she takes the poison herself by mistake.[9]

While Niall is high king, his brothers establish themselves as local kings. Brión rules the province of Connacht, but Fiachrae makes war against him. Brión defeats Fiachrae and hands him over as a prisoner to Niall, but Fiachrae's son Nath Í continues the war and eventually kills Brión. Niall releases Fiachrae, who becomes king of Connacht and Niall's right hand man. Fiachrae and Ailill then make war against Crimthann's son Eochaid, king of Munster. They defeat him and win great spoil, but Fiachrae is wounded in the battle and dies of his wounds shortly afterwards. The Munstermen renew the battle, capture Ailill and cut him to pieces, and war continues between Munster and Connacht for many years.[7]

[edit]Death

The Lebor Gabála Érenn says there was war between Niall and Énnae Cennsalach, king of Leinster, over the bórama or cow-tribute first imposed on Leinster by Tuathal Techtmar.[10] Énna's son Eochaid is named as Niall's killer in all sources, although the circumstances vary. All sources agree he died outside Ireland. The earliest version of the Lebor Gabála says Eochaid killed him on the English Channel, later versions adding that Niall was invading Brittany when this happened. Keating, quoting a Latin Life of Saint Patrick, says that Niall led Irish raids on Roman Britain, and in one of those raids Patrick and his sisters were abducted. Keating associates these raids with those mentioned by Gildas and Bede, and deduces that, since some Irish sources say Patrick was abducted from Brittany, that Niall's raids must have extended to continental Europe as well.[3]

In the saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages", Eochaid's enmity with Niall begins when he is refused hospitality by Niall's poet, Laidcenn mac Bairchid. He makes war and destroys the poet's stronghold, killing his son Leat[11] (Keating has it that Laidchenn was a druid, and that Eochaid killed his son after he used defamatory language towards him).[3] Laidchenn responds by satirising Leinster so that no corn, grass or leaves grow there for a year. Then Niall makes war against Leinster, and peace is concluded on the condition that Eochaid is handed over. Niall chains Eochaid to a standing stone, and sends nine warriors to execute him, but Eochaid breaks his chain and kills all nine of them with it. He then kills Laidchenn by throwing a stone which lodges in his forehead. Niall exiles him to Scotland. The story then becomes confused. Niall makes war in Europe as far as the Alps, and the Romans send an ambassador to parlay with him. Abruptly, the tale then has Niall appearing before an assembly of Pictish bards in Scotland, where he is killed by an arrow shot by Eochaid from the other side of the valley. Keating has Eochaid shoot Niall from the opposite bank of the river Loire during his European campaign. His men carry his body home, fighting seven battles on the way, and his foster-father Torna dies of grief. His body is said to have been buried at Ochann, now known as Faughan Hill at Jordanstown, a few miles west of Navan in County Meath.[9] He is succeeded by his nephew Nath Í.

Byrne suggests that Niall's death took place during a raid on Roman Britain. Irish tradition had forgotten that the Romans once ruled Britain, and relocated his remembered confrontations with the Empire to continental Europe, with Alba, the ancient name for Britain, being confused with Elpa, the Alps, or being understood with its later meaning of Scotland.[4] A poem by the 11th century poet Cináed Ua Hartacáin in the Book of Leinster credits Niall with seven raids on Britain, on the last of which he was killed by Eochaid "above the surf of the Ictian Sea";[4][12] a poem attributed to the same poet in Lebor na hUidre credits him with going to the Alps seven times.[6]

[edit]Family and descendants

Further information: Uí Néill descendants

Keating credits Niall with two wives: Inne, daughter of Lugaid, who bore him one son, Fiachu; and Rignach, who bore him seven sons, Lóegaire, Éndae, Maine, Eógan, Conall Gulban, Conall Cremthainne and Coirpre.[3] These sons are the eponymous ancestors of the various Uí Néill dynasties: Eógan of the Cenél nEógain and Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, making up the northern Uí Néill; Fiachu of the Cenél Fiachach dynasty, Lóegaire (the king who Saint Patrick is said to have converted) of the Cenél Lóegaire, Maine of the Uí Maine, Eógan of the Cenél nEógain, Conall Gulban of the Cenél Conaill, Conall Cremthainne of the Clann Cholmáin and the Síl nÁedo Sláine, and Coirpre of the Cenél Coirpri, making up the southern Uí Néill.[4] Famous descendants include Niall's great-great grandson Saint Columba, Saint Máel Ruba, the Kings of Ailech, the Kings of Tir Eogain, and the Kings of Tír Conaill.[13]

In January 2006, geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin suggested that Niall may have been the most fecund male in Irish history. The findings of the study showed that within the north-west of Ireland as many as 21% of men (8% in the general male population) were concluded to have a common male-line ancestor who lived roughly 1,700 years ago. The geneticists estimated that there are about 2-3 million males alive today who descend in the male-line from Niall.[14] However, more recently some reservations have been expressed, as the subclade, which is defined by the presence of the marker R-M222, is found in a belt from Northern Ireland across southern Scotland and is not exclusively associated with the Uí Néill. It is now more commonly referred to as the Northwest Irish/Lowland Scots variety.[15]

[edit]Origin of his epithet

There are various versions of how Niall gained his epithet Noígíallach. The saga "The Death of Niall of the Nine Hostages" says that he received five hostages from the five provinces of Ireland (Ulster, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Meath), and one each from Scotland, the Saxons, the Britons and the Franks.[11] Keating says that he received five from the five provinces of Ireland, and four from Scotland.[3] O'Rahilly suggests that the nine hostages were from the kingdom of the Airgialla (literally "hostage-givers"), a satellite state founded by the Ui Néill's conquests in Ulster, noting that the early Irish legal text Lebor na gCeart ("The Book of Rights") says that the only duty of the Airgialla to the King of Ireland was to give him nine hostages.[6] -------------------- SOURCES:

1) GENEALOGY: Royal Ancestors of Magna Charta Barons; Page 145; G929.72;

C6943ra; Denver Public Library; Genealogy

Niall Mor, "Naill of the Nine Hostages, " 126th King of Ireland

2) 1. [S9180] "Email, no hard copy" , Stewart Baldwin Medieval-L Quoting from "A New History of Ireland" except generations 5-8, which are given in the Ban Shenchus and confirmed in the O'Cathalain pedigree in O'Clery 857. Muireann herself occurs in the annals, as in a poem quoted in AT s.a. 649, and her great-grandfather.Aed is mentioned again in a separate entry in the Ban Shenchus..

3) [S10139] "Irish Pedigrees by John O'Hart , part 1, chapter IV".

4) [S10166] "Possible parents of Naill by Brian Tompsett 23 November 1997".

5) [S10138] "High Kings of Ireland e-mail address".

6) [S9890] Your Family Tree, gives this spelling and the info that he was the 126th Monarch of Ireland..

7) [S9890] Your Family Tree.

8) Download, http://www.dcs.hull.ac.uk/cgi-bin/gedlkup/n=royal.

Also known as: Niall Noígiallach King of Ireland -------------------- Killed in Battle. Known as Niall of the Nine Hostages from the nine counties of Ireland that he subued and made tributary to him. The are Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Ulster, the Britons, Picts, Saxons, and Morini of Gaul. The center of his government was at Tara. There is a legend that on one of his ventures into Gaul, he captured a young boy. The boy eventually escaped, but returned to Ireland as St. Patrick. Reportedly he had fair skin, hair the color of yellow primrose, and deep, blue-gray eyes. He was killed in his sleep while aboard his royal galley.

Niall of the Nine Hostages , or Niall Nóigiallach, was the youngest son of Eochaidh Mugmedon (King of Connacht). Niall was said to have ruled over Tara, but modern historians think it more likely that Tara was founded by Niall's decendents, and that Niall himself actually set up his kingdom at Uisnech, another "royal hill".

One of the first verifiable historical Irish leaders, Niall Nóigiallach was king from about AD 400 to his death. In 405 he led an expedition against Britain, where it is rumored that he may have captured a young Romano-British boy named Patricus, son of Calpurnius, a local magistrate. Patricus later came to be known as St. Patrick. Niall was famed for his raids on Britain along with his brothers and sons. He eventually came to control most of the Northern half of Ireland. He conquered the Uliad aristocracy, which ruled in Ulster, and by this victory and subsequent consolidation of power was able to found a dynasty, the Ui Neill, which gave rise to the O'Neill clan. Three of his sons founded kingdoms in Ulster (collectively the Northern Ui Neill), other sons founded kingdom in the Irish midlands (the Southern Ui Neill).

Emain Macha, the capital of the Uliada, which Niall captured early on, became the capital of the Airgialla (lit: "givers of hostages") which is said to explain Niall's second name (Noigiallach = "of the Nine Hostages").

A son of Niall, who succeeded his father at Tara circa 427-430, welcomed St. Patrick to his court in 432.

-------------------- Killed in Battle. Known as Niall of the Nine Hostages from the nine counties of Ireland that he subued and made tributary to him. The are Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Ulster, the Britons, Picts, Saxons, and Morini of Gaul. The center of his government was at Tara. There is a legend that on one of his ventures into Gaul, he captured a young boy. The boy eventually escaped, but returned to Ireland as St. Patrick. Reportedly he had fair skin, hair the color of yellow primrose, and deep, blue-gray eyes. He was killed in his sleep while aboard his royal galley.

Niall of the Nine Hostages , or Niall Nóigiallach, was the youngest son of Eochaidh Mugmedon (King of Connacht). Niall was said to have ruled over Tara, but modern historians think it more likely that Tara was founded by Niall's decendents, and that Niall himself actually set up his kingdom at Uisnech, another "royal hill".

One of the first verifiable historical Irish leaders, Niall Nóigiallach was king from about AD 400 to his death. In 405 he led an expedition against Britain, where it is rumored that he may have captured a young Romano-British boy named Patricus, son of Calpurnius, a local magistrate. Patricus later came to be known as St. Patrick. Niall was famed for his raids on Britain along with his brothers and sons. He eventually came to control most of the Northern half of Ireland. He conquered the Uliad aristocracy, which ruled in Ulster, and by this victory and subsequent consolidation of power was able to found a dynasty, the Ui Neill, which gave rise to the O'Neill clan. Three of his sons founded kingdoms in Ulster (collectively the Northern Ui Neill), other sons founded kingdom in the Irish midlands (the Southern Ui Neill).

Emain Macha, the capital of the Uliada, which Niall captured early on, became the capital of the Airgialla (lit: "givers of hostages") which is said to explain Niall's second name (Noigiallach = "of the Nine Hostages").

A son of Niall, who succeeded his father at Tara circa 427-430, welcomed St. Patrick to his court in 432. -------------------- Niall held sway over the largest amount of territory ever controlled by an Irish king until that point, and his kingdom was only eclipsed by his nephew and successor, Dalphi. He controlled all of Ireland, large portions of Britain, and even part of France. He seriously damaged Roman ability to control Britain and Gaul and helped bring about the end of the Empire in the north. --------------------

  Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', 126th Monarch of Ireland married Ine of Ulster, daughter of Dubtach of Ulster. Niall 'of the Nine Hostages', 126th Monarch of Ireland died after 400.

-------------------- France, killed on the banks of River Loire

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Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of the Connachta's Timeline